Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 'John Deere' of Dembidollo

Originally posted November 2014

Dembidollo is a rural area in Ethiopia where most people make a living by farming or raising livestock. Three very poor families were given a pair of oxen to cultivate their land, resulting in successful harvests that have set them on the path of self-sufficiency.


dd-0031 (2)Mikiyas, his brother, two sisters plus two children live together in one room on a lush piece of property in the countryside that they could not farm because they did not have oxen. Their poverty was deep. The walls of their house were just sticks that let in the wind and the rain, and they all slept under tarps on the dirt floor. Mikiyas and his brother wanted desperately to improve their situation and provide for their sisters, niece and nephew but their earning power was low and without oxen, their property was worthless.


A year-and-a-half ago the couple who “adopted” this family raised $700 to buy a pair of oxen, the yoke, and hand plow so the brothers could cultivate their land. Gratefully, they worked hard planting maize (corn), sorghum, barley and onions. The men also plowed their neighbor’s land, sharing 50/50  in that harvest. Their trusty oxen plowed seven acres, and the profit from the first harvest allowed them to mud the walls of their house and replace the broken door, but most profit went back into their second planting. After harvest in 2014, their profits were ensured and they no longer needed monthly help from Mission 1:27.


DD-0053 C Debela was one of Etana’s 10 children who, for awhile, was farmed out as a servant because his father did not have enough food for his large family. After Etana’s family was identified for help through Mission 1:27, Debela was reunited with his family, but school was out of reach for the eight school-aged children. Etana’s family lives quite a distance from Dembidollo town in a beautiful valley on a fertile piece of property, but Etana had no way to plow it. He had a few sheep that he sold for a little profit, but without the supplement of monthly food that M1:27 gave him, his large family would be hungry most of the time.

It was a gift almost beyond Etana’s comprehension when their sponsor offered to buy him the equivalent of a John Deere: a set of oxen. As is often done in Ethiopia, Etana cultivated his land and also a neighbor’s property to share 50/50 in that harvest. He planted maize, sorghum, wheat, teff and chickpeas. After the first harvest Etana bought a pregnant cow and the eight older children were enrolled in school. After a successful second harvest, it was determined that his family no longer needed outside help. The boost of oxen was just what was needed to set this hard-working man on his feet to proudly provide for his family.


dd-0064Galalcha and Sanaye have three children, and their son, Fedesa, is a strong young man who, with the help of his mother, has the responsibility of doing the hard labor required to be a farmer in Ethiopia. Galalcha is a personable older man who has been significantly weakened with leprosy. Before Galalcha contracted leprosy, he was a laboratory technician in a hospital and through his good salary bought a nice piece of property. However, life after leprosy has not been easy for him or his family.

Eighteen months ago, Galalcha’s family received a set of oxen, a gift from their Mission 1:27 sponsor. Fedesa was ecstatic and promised to work hard to farm their property.  He made plans to hire his oxen out to plow neighboring property as well. The farm has produced brilliantly under the competent hard work of Fedesa and Sanaye. The daughters are going to school and they now have a milk cow. We join Galalcha and his family in rejoicing over the amazing provision of oxen that has made the difference between dependency and self-sufficiency.

Read more stories of people like these - families who someone just like you invested in and who are now operating successful businesses - on our website here!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Out of the King’s Storehouse

by Joy Casey

How sweet are your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

There are a lot of good people in the world and I think I have been ultra-blessed to have a lion’s share of them in my life. Nice people. Kind people. Thoughtful people.
Bob-and-Pat WarrenThen there is a smaller sub-category of good people whose lives focus on Kingdom work and everything about them reflects a worldview that God is in charge, God is our provider, and God receives all glory. Bob Warren and his wife Pat are a couple that shine as an example of people in this category.

Bob’s organization is called The King’s Storehouse and his focus is God’s Word and clean water. He provides high quality solar-powered personal audio Bibles in many different languages to Christian organizations who will get them out to indigenous churches and pastors.
For years, Bob has provided Mission 1:27 with audio Bibles in the Orominya and Amharic languages. I have 20 sitting in my office right now that will go to Ethiopia with a team next month. These precious tools are used in places where illiteracy is high or it is dangerous to carry around a bible. The audio bibles look like an iPod or some other innocuous device with ear buds. Our goal is to have one or two audio bibles available in all the new church plants so anyone can come to the church and listen to God’s word whenever they can. I cannot overstate what an invaluable tool these solar powered Bibles are!

sawyer 1
The King’s Storehouse has also provided us with Sawyer Point One water filters that are effective, portable, and easy to put together and to keep up. We have given out hundreds of these and have seen waterborne illnesses drop dramatically when people use them.
As people purchase portable water filters and audio bibles through our gift catalog, we send Bob a check, but he typically doesn’t wait for the money. He calls and asks me, “Can you take God’s Word to Africa any time soon?” And then he sends me what he can in the languages we need. If I can reimburse him at some point, fine. If I cannot, he is unconcerned because God will provide another way.
Bob and Pat keep their eyes on the goal: serving God well until they are with Jesus for eternity. They are the genuine deal and we are so grateful to partner with them!

If you would like to help us deliver clean water and the Good News to many in Ethiopia, each costs only $50 and can be donated with a click below…

Image 7 / 34   iPhone-sized MegaVoice Envoy. Solar powered, light weight, inconspicuous       water filter

Monday, April 4, 2016

HerStory videos

Last year, the US Embassy in Addis Ababa invited people to submit a 3 minute film about women and girls' issues in Ethiopia. All were made by Ethiopians and all of them highlighted the extreme challenges faced by women there - access to education, violence and the burden of domestic work.  Many are difficult to watch but they reflect a reality that can't be ignored.

Here are several of the top ten winners...

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